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State servants & elections PSAY Conference 18 November 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "State servants & elections PSAY Conference 18 November 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 State servants & elections PSAY Conference 18 November 2013

2 Who is a state servant? SSC Standards of Integrity & Conduct cover - public service departments, crown entities & DHBs, crown entity subsidiaries Local government - each Council has their own policy, should be no less than SSC guidance CPS Sector – check whether your organisation has a code of conduct or policy

3 In general, state servants … Have the same political rights and freedoms as other New Zealanders Must maintain political neutrality to work with current and future governments Must keep their jobs out of their politics and their politics out of their jobs And Senior State servants and those who engage directly with Ministers should exercise careful judgment

4 So as a citizen you can … Participate in and support union political activity Be a member of a political party Help with fundraising, assist with leaflet drops, take part in other forms of support Stand for election to Parliament Note: PSA is not affiliated to any political party, but we are politically active and will be running an election campaign in 2014

5 But maintain political neutrality … By being careful not to: – disclose information not in the public domain – criticise government policy which you have been professionally involved – talk about issues you are working on – present yourself as representing your agency – be clear that you speak in your private capacity – wear employer branded clothing – bring your employer into disrepute including through social media

6 Use of agency resources Agency premises - do not display party political material or carry out activities that could reasonably regarded as party political Do not use agency resources in ways that could be seen as breaching the principle of political neutrality

7 Standing for election Notify your employer of intention to seek selection as a candidate Senior State servants – need to be particularly careful to manage the implications of their candidacies Electoral Act sets out which State servants are required to take leave from their positions if standing for Parliament Those not covered by Electoral Act - discuss with employer whether it may be desirable to take leave to preserve political neutrality

8 Managing the boundaries Check SSC Code of Conduct and guidance Check your agency’s code of conduct and guidance Inform your manager early – to avoid misunderstandings – ensure that the relationship between employment responsibilities and the freedom to exercise civil rights is understood – a courtesy, no surprises, not seeking permission Check with a delegate, who can escalate if needed

9 What else? What should a healthy state service in a democracy look like? Especially the balance between the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen and a state servant? What else to our members need to support this?

10 Useful links SSC, Integrity and Conduct SSC (April 2010) Understanding the code of conduct – Guidance for State servants April2010.pdf April2010.pdf SSC (4 May 2010) Political Neutrality Guidance SSC (May 2011) State Servants, Political Parties, and Elections: Guidance for the 2011 Election Period

11 New Zealand Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi For a better working life


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